Monday, December 25, 2017

Israel could be next country to go cashless as it researches the creation of a sovereign cryptocurrency

In many ways the Jewish community is both a local and global culture, with Israel of course being the focal point of its heritage, while at the same time having many of its people proliferating nations all around the world.

And with this in mind, an interesting phenomenon could soon take shape due to the rise of the blockchain and that of cryptocurrencies.  For while a private crypto has already been in the planning to potentially be used by Jews among themselves around the world, the country of Israel itself may soon have their own sovereign cryptocurrency to replace physical money and the shekel.

For several months the Bank of Israel has been considering issuing a state-sponsored virtual currency, reports the Jerusalem Post. The digital shekel will be identical in value to the traditional shekel. 
According to an unnamed Israeli finance official, the digital shekel will record every transaction by mobile phone. It will allow the Israeli government to reduce the amount of cash in circulation to fight tax evasion and money laundering. The so-called black economy in Israel accounts for 22 percent of the country’s GDP, statistics showed. 
The digital shekel will be exactly like cash, but instead of coins in a wallet, there will be codes in a cellphone. Transactions with the cryptocurrency will be made immediately, unlike with a bank transfer or check, which takes a few days to clear. 
“You can imagine that instead of giving you a piece of paper saying the Bank of Israel on it, I can send you a piece of digital code that was issued by a central bank,” the official said, adding the digital currency will be stored in a digital wallet. – Russia Today


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